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Songbird Shepard promises shear bliss

By Eddie McIlwaine

Ever since I mentioned a diva called Vonda with a surname that rhymes with 'shepherd', I've been asked a few times by oddball callers if she is coming to Belfast to sing about the sheepdog and the lamb in Nottinghamshire that fell in love and ran away together recently.

Sorry to disappoint, folks, but I have to explain that New Yorker Vonda's actual second name is 'Shepard'. And while she has heard the heart-warming story of Bella (the lamb) and Blake (the sheepdog), she knows nothing about sheep, or sheepdogs, in spite of the way her name sounds.

Vonda plays the Waterfront Studio in Belfast on Saturday, July 1. You'll remember her from the hit Ally McBeal TV show, on which her favourite song was Searching My Soul, which she promises to give an airing here.

A sacred song that mentions lambs coming home is called Little Road to Bethlehem, and it appeals to me. Here is a verse:

"As I walked down the road at set of sun

The lambs were coming homeward one by one

I heard a sheep bell softly calling them

Along the Little Road to Bethlehem."

So appropriate.

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